TRIO Student Support Services

TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) is a federal outreach and student success program funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Big Bend Community College has has a TRIO SSS program since 1997. The program’s goal is to provide support and encouragement for eligible first generation, low income, and/or students with disabilities to help them attain their educational goals, graduate and/or transfer to an institute of higher education.

The BBCC TRIO SSS program houses two TRIO grants, Classic and STEM*, who work together to serve 310 eligible Big Bend students each grant cycle.  



Did you know you could schedule directly onto your TRIO advisor’s calendar through Starfish? Below are the individual calendar links!

Program Services
1:1 Advising
Financial aid assistance/support
Transfer assistance
College campus visits
STEM Peer Mentoring
First-Year Success Course
Transfer Summer Bridge
Cultural Events
Grant Aid
Scholar Resources

TRIO SSS has four full-time academic advisors. Their main responsibility is support the students on their caseload to attain academic success! TRIO advisors understand degree requirements, help you select classes, and develop a balanced schedule as you work toward the completion of your educational plans. They also help you access other departments and resources on campus that could best serve you in successfully reaching your educational and career goals. If you goal is to transfer after BBCC, TRIO advisors work tirelessly to make sure you have a smooth transition to the 4-year institution, your major, and the new community. 

TRIO SSS advisors support participants in acquiring financial assistance for college. This includes individual and group assistance in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) , submitting additional financial aid forms/documents, reapplying for financial aid after suspension (SAP appeal), and applying for additional funding sources like scholarships and community resources/fuding. Help us help you have the funding you need to attend college! 

If transferring after BBCC is your goal, there are many things to consider. Where will you attend? What major will you claim? How will you pay for it? Where will you live? TRIO SSS advisors help participants look at transferring holistically and to make sure they are fully prepared for the transfer process. 

As a transfer student, there will be many new challenges, responsibilities, requirements, and changes. A campus visit is your opportunity to get a firsthand view of a college. A college catalog, brochure or website can only show you so much. To really get a feel for the college, you need to walk around the quad, sit in on a class and visit the dorms. You also can get crucial information from admission counselors that allows you to ask specific questions about such things as career services, financial aid, academics, and even dining options. TRIO SSS takes participants on college campus visits throughout the academic year. 

Campus Visits FAQs

Where does TRIO SSS go?

Local 4-year institutions such as:

When do these college campus visits happen?

Throughout the year. Most often on a Friday — since there are no BBCC classes — or on a Saturday. Unless otherwise stated, campus visits are one day trips.

Do I have to pay my own travel and meals?

BBCC TRIO SSS always provides transportation for students, but if proper documentation is submitted and approved, a student is able to transport themselves.

How do I sign up for a college campus visit? 

At about a month before the trip, TRIO SSS will have an online sign up sheet (which closes 3-4 days before the trip). Then, in the days leading up to the event, you will have to sign travel paperwork. Once this is signed, you show up on day of the trip and attend the visit :).

TRIO SSS holds workshops (in person and online) on topics range from building academic skills, assistance completing the financial aid application, applying to scholarships and/or jobs, and MORE! 

General workshop calendar

Additional topics may be added throughout the year!

  FAFSA help Transfer support Career exploration Scholarship info/help Improving study skills/habits Job prep STEM topics Community resources
Fall  5 sessions  2 sessions  1 – 2 sessions  1 session  2 sessions  1 – 2 sessions  2 sessions  1 session
Winter  1 session  2 sessions  None  3 -4 sessions  2 sessions  None  1 -2 sessions  1 session
Spring  1 session  None  1 -2 sessions  None  2 sessions  2 -3 sessions  1 -2 sessions  1 session
Summer  None Offered at TSB!*  Offered at TSB!*  Offered at TSB!*  None Offered at TSB!* None  None

*TSB = Transfer Summer Bridge

The TRIO SSS STEM Peer Mentoring project at Big Bend Community College pairs TRIO STEM Scholars with Mentors who are BBCC alum and are pursuing a STEM major at a four-year institution. Through one-on-one meetings and group workshops, the peer mentors provide a space for mentees to enhance their sense of belonging in the STEM field, and gain knowledge to increase success in the transfer process.

What does a STEM Peer Mentor help you with?

  • Tips for transferring to a university
  • Tips for succeeding in your STEM classes
  • BBCC resources
  • Personal growth topics

Learn about the program more here! 

TRIO SSS offers a year-round for credit first year college success course available to all first-year TRIO students. This class is called CSS 103: First-Year Student Success. Only TRIO students are eligible to participate in the section TRIO staff teaches. By participating you learn college success skills and engage in more TRIO program services. TRIO staff highly encourages all first-year students to participate!

What do you learn in this class?
  1. What your academic strengths/weaknesses are & how to improve them.
    • i.e. selecting main ideas, testing strategies, improving time management, my learning style, & more!
  2. About BBCC services and resources that can help you be successful.
  3. What degree to pursue at BBCC, plan path to graduation, and determine your next step.
  4. How to fund college and how/where to receive this financial support.
    • i.e. FAFSA, scholarships, working (including resume/cover letter creation process).
  5. Financial literacy topics that can be helpful now or in the near future.
    • i.e. budgeting strategies, understanding credit, paying down credit cards, building your credit, & more!
  6. More about you including: your innate strengths, your behavior style, & more. This info. can help you decide your career path and/or get a job!
What past students are saying
  • I am very happy I took this course. I was so nervous about college but the class gave me so much knowledge and useful advice not just for college but for my future.”
  • This course really focused on helping me as a person, learning to overcome some of my learning challenges, and how to help a poor credit score or how to avoid damaging your credit!”
  • The class overall have important information about how we as students can get better using these resources.”

As a transfer student, there will be many new challenges, responsibilities, requirements, and changes. The transfer bridge program a 2-day workshop series designed to help TRIO students through the transfer planning process!

Throughout the program, students will learn skills and strategies on how to successfully transfer to a 4-year university or community college. A guide is also provided to further assist students in the process with ease!

Cultural events are activities or academic programs not usually available to TRIO-eligible students. These events occur throughout the year, but more readily provided in conjunction with a college campus visit. Therefore, travel is also provided. But, if proper documentation is submitted and approved, a student is able to transport themselves. 

One of the services TRIO SSS can offer is emergency aid called Grant Aid. Grant aid is for emergency situations and requires additional eligibility. 

In general, to be eligible for grant aid you need to be…
  • An active TRIO SSS scholar
  • Receiving Pell grant (from FAFSA)
  • Have unmet need (from FAFSA)
  • Experiencing hardship 


  1. An active TRIO SSS scholar is enrolled and is in good standing with the program. 
  2. TRIO SSS Grant Aid is limited in funds. Once funds are depleted we will close this application for the remainder of the academic year (application will reopen Fall 2024). 
  3. Minimum award is $700 and maximum award is $1,500. 

Fill out the grant aid application to see if you are eligible. 

As a BBCC TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) Scholar, you now have access to various resources/platforms that are only available for TRIO students! Here is a link to the website of program-supported resources

How do I apply?

There are several steps to apply to the BBCC TRIO SSS Program including an online application, two intake meetings, and verification of household income. Click here to see the full steps and to start applying! 

TRIO SSS Contact

Building 1400

Office Suite 1428, 1429, 1430 & 1431


Taylor Mather

Mather, Taylor

Academic Advisor
Elizabeth Valle

Valle, Elizabeth

TRIO SSS Academic Advisor
(509) 793-2082
Jasmine Evangelista-Martinez

Evangelista-Martinez, Jasmine

TRIO SSS Academic Advisor
(509) 793-2041
Early Achievers instructor, Astrid Chen

Chen, Astrid

TRiO SSS Academic Advisor
(509) 793-2042
Cheryl Brischle

Brischle, Cheryl

TRIO SSS Program Assistant
(509) 793-2040
Veronica Guadarrama

Guadarrama, Veronica

Director of TRIO Student Support Services
(509) 793-2039

*The TRIO Student Support Services Classic grant is funded at $335,053 per year and serves 190 participants. The TRIO Student Support Services, STEM grant is funded at $261,888 per year and serves 120 participants. 

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